Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thames Mudlarking: Find of the Day and the Rest

Last Thursday I managed to fit in a short trip to the Thames.  The mudlarkers leaving as I arrived remarking how disappointingly high the low the tide had been and attributing it to the strong winds that day. I only had an hour to seek out treasures before I was cut off.

First interesting thing I spotted has to be find of the day.  I slid it into my pocket that night as we left to holiday with  a group of friends 'the millers' on the Isle of Wight –  we all spent a few moments that evening and the next day pondering what an earth this object could be. Delightful in so many ways absolutely covered in clearly discernible finger prints hundreds of years old, so full of life with deep impressions of the fingers that squidged  the clay. A chuck away piece preserved forever and now coveted by its finder possibly half a millennia later. Full of intrigue – it appears to be glazed and fired but would have been squashed before it went into the kiln. Was it an object that went wrong, but why fire it? Jen suggested it could be a rest for another form (the word they seem to use in the archaeological trade) a couple of  small flat roundish areas on the surface supports this theory and are those blackish marks on the bottom  that Moira drew our attention to the result of being at the bottom of the kiln?  One small side section is unglazed Janey wondered whether the clay was pulled from a larger object?  The potters among you may be able to shed more light - click on the photos if you want a better view of finger prints. 
Thames Mudlarking Find of the Day top and bottom. 

As I was leaving the foreshore I came across an unusually large piece of redware, with a type of handle I’d only come across once before. I almost left it, on picking it up discovered rather lovely thick glossy green glaze on the reverse. I suspect it is London redware 1580 onwards.
 London Redware pot handle and reverse found mudlarking on the Thames
Pictured below are the remaining finds,  very old glass which gains an iridescence when over a certain age, a post on glass will surely appear in the next couple of months, the second incisor  I’ve found – is it from a dog? Shards of Westerwald, black basalt (a post to appear soon), a more refined piece of delft than I usually discover, a slither of decorated clay pipe bowl and a selection of more modern pottery shards that caught my eye. 

Thames Mudlarking - a days finds. 

1 comment:

  1. It has taken some time to figure out how to post. I was with Julia when she found the Bellamine face earlier in the month. It takes sharp eyes to pick these pieces out and Julia has them. This find happened on a lower low tide day which exposedart of the foreshore that is usually hidden. It was a great find. Picking up a shard is a great invitation to discover more about it and this blog is a great help. If you are in London there are also good ceramic collections and the V&A, Nd the Museum of London which help identify pieces. But no idea what the strange lead piece is for this post. Hope to run into Julia again on the foreshore